The condition of upset stomach can be described in many ways. It could be repeated watery bowel movements along with constant pain in stomach, vomiting, flatulence, etc. Sometimes, the patients complain about a sense of fullness in the stomach, with mild to severe nausea. Or, it could also be in the form of acid indigestion that gives rise to heartburn. Usually, the main cause behind occasional upset stomach is wrong or irregular eating habits. However, when it occurs more frequently, its underlying cause could be something much more serious.
Causes of an Upset Stomach
There is nothing to worry about a mild stomach upset after heavy meals. It happens particularly when one eats fried or spicy foods. You may also get it if you have eaten up the food fast. This is not at all a serious condition and subsides when the stomach is given enough time to carry out the digestion process.
An upset stomach with diarrhea and vomiting are signs of food poisoning or viral infection. If diarrhea occurs quite often, or persists for a long time, then it could be related to parasitic infection, irritable bowel syndrome, or spastic colon. When it gives a constant heartburn, it is possibly caused by acid reflux disease.
One can get upset stomach because of food allergy. Suppose, a person is allergic towards wheat. Every time, he or she consumes food that contain wheat flour, the body assumes that a harmful substance has entered the digestive system. As a result, it releases antibodies and the stomach gets upset. Some people develop this stomach problem after taking certain medicines. For instance, NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) used for pain relief, when taken for a long time, may cause stomach upset.
Apart from the food, drinks, and medications, there are some serious medical conditions which can be held responsible for chronic stomach upset. They are: stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal diseases, inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), inflammation in the stomach lining (or gastritis), pancreatitis, appendicitis, Crohn's disease, and cardiac ischemia or inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart.
Home Remedies for an Upset Stomach
During stomach upset, you do not feel like eating anything mainly because of nausea. In such a condition, drink a cup of peppermint tea to get rid of the uneasiness, almost instantly. The best part of this herbal tea is that it has no adverse effect on your body. It can be consumed by pregnant women who are suffering from upset stomach.
Ginger is considered as one of the most effective remedies for this problem. It can be taken in various forms. For example, you can add ginger in the meals, you can prepare a ginger tea, or simply chew a small piece of ginger candy. Ginger tea also helps in relieving nausea very well.
Baking soda has an instant healing effect on the stomach. You have to prepare a solution by mixing up one teaspoonful of baking soda in a cup of warm water. Drink this mixture and it will start showing results within 15 minutes. If required, you can have it one more time after 2-3 hours.
What to Eat When Your Stomach is Upset?
When you have a digestive disorder, you have to be watchful of what you eat and what you do not. If you get an upset stomach after eating, then you have to avoid any solid food for some time. After that, when you start taking solid food, rice is the best option available. This is because it is easily digestible and it will also keep your stomach full. For similar reasons, crackers are good for people with stomach upset. However, in this condition, you should have crackers that are low in sodium and do not contain unhealthy fats.
You should eat bananas. It neutralizes the stomach acids and eases off the diarrhea. It has a soothing effect on the irritated stomach lining at the same time, it supplies a lot of essential nutrients to your body. Since it is easy to digest, banana can be safely given to small babies with stomach upset. There are some foodstuffs which should be strictly avoided. They are: dairy products, nuts, citrus fruits, chocolates, caffeine and spicy foods.
In general, upset stomach is a minor digestive problem and it can be cured with some dietary restrictions and home remedies. However, if there are danger signs like traces of blood in stool or vomit, black stool, fatigue, loss of weight, etc., then it is likely to be a serious issue which should be treated by a doctor immediately.